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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Bexar County Closes 3 Polling Sites for Runoff After Volunteers Back Out Over COVID-19 Risks

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2020 at 9:58 AM

The COVID-19 outbreak has created challenges during a high-stakes Texas election cycle. - SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
  • The COVID-19 outbreak has created challenges during a high-stakes Texas election cycle.
Three of the 217 election sites Bexar County planned to operate for the Tuesday, July 14 runoff won't open after some volunteers declined to serve during the pandemic, officials said.

Sites at Corbett Middle School and Cameron and Storm elementary schools won't open, leaving 214 voting locations in the county, the Bexar County Elections Department confirmed in a press release. Signs at the locations will direct voters to other nearby polling sites.

"Please keep in mind that the average judge’s age is 72, so we certainly understand their concerns,” Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacquelyn Callanen said in emailed statement.

Callanen also recommended that local voters wear masks and practice physical distancing while casting their ballots.

“We understand that although the masks are not mandatory to vote, it would be a way of showing respect for our judges and election personnel,” she said. 

Texas' Republican state leadership has insisted on moving ahead with in-person polling this election cycle despite concerns from voting-rights groups and others about the health risks posed by COVID-19.

Voter advocates and the Texas Democratic Party are now waiting to see whether the U.S. Supreme Court is willing to take up a case to expand the state's narrow mail-in voting rules ahead of the November election.

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